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News

Funding to come from transportation budget surplus.

It’s a contant struggle for school bus drivers across the country when it comes to safely stopping to pick up children in the mornings and drop them off in the evenings. A survey conducted by the state reported that bus drivers indicate 3,000-3,500 drivers illegally pass stopped school buses a day. During a count done in March, school bus drivers reported more than 400 violations in Wake County in one day. Wake County is the state's largest school district and has 900 buses.

Under state law, when a school bus displays its mechanical stop signal or flashing red lights, vehicles in both directions must stop and not attempt to pass the bus until the sign is withdrawn, the lights are off, and the bus has started to move. The rules are different for a divided highway of four lanes or more and in that case only traffic following the bus must stop.

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Two Franklin Police officers have been placed on paid administrative leave after a gun battle resulted in the death of Clay Alan Lickteig, 52, of Hayesville.

Around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night, two Franklin police officers, who are not being identified at this time, were attempting to serve Lickteig with a felony probation violation warrant for arrest, when Lickteig became confrontational and brandished a weapon.

The FPD officers met Lickteig in the driveway of a residence at which he had been staying, and when ordered by officers to show his hands, he refused. According to Police Chief David Adams, the officers first attempted to subdue the suspect with a taser gun, which was deployed twice. Lickteig then opened fire on the officers.

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Order of the Long Leaf Pine recipients honored

"Here’s to the land/ of the long leaf pine, The summer land/ where the sun doth shine, Where the weak grow strong/ and the strong grow great, Here’s to “down home”, the Old North State!”

When it comes to being a North Carolinian, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine is the highest honor the state can bestow on one of its citizens. The award, doled out by the governor of the state, is a prestigious recognition that has been earned by some of history’s greatest individuals. The honor, which was first established in 1965 has since been awarded to about 15,000 people in the state which include the likes of Maya Angelou, Billy Graham, and Andy Griffith.

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The Macon County News has learned of a possible scam taking place in the Franklin area.

A resident reported seeing what looked to be someone injured or dead lying on the side of the Georgia Road with a black SUV nearby. The person stopped, locked the car doors and called 9-1-1. Shortly thereafter, the person lying on the side of the road got up and got in the SUV and drove away.

Persons encountering such a situation are urged to notify law enforcement by calling 9-1-1.

MCSO hosts outreach programs to better serve the community

“As law enforcement, the sheriff’s department's job is to work on behalf of all the citizens and to continue improving programs and services to ensure that the community is best being served,” said guest speaker District Attorney Ashley Welch during the Macon County Sheriff’s Office Citizens Academy graduation ceremony last Thursday. “Citizens Academy is a great program that is reaching out to the community and offering residents an inside look at law enforcement and all it takes to keep our community safe. Not only do I commend the sheriff’s department for putting the program on, but I commend you as citizens for wanting to spend your time learning more about law enforcement.”

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A routine traffic stop over the weekend led to four arrests, and the confiscation of a large quantity of methamphetamine.

“After a traffic stop along 441, our officers pulled over two vehicles, which resulted in the arrest of four individuals,” said Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland. “We did retrieve a large quantity of meth at the time and the investigation into the incident remains ongoing. At this time, we do expect additional charges to be forthcoming as we complete our investigation.”

Jeremy Kenneth Stanley, 19; James Fred Hurst, 41; Elizabeth Anne Tice, 18; and Adam Joshua Sanders, 28, all of Franklin, were arrested and each charged with one felony count trafficking methamphetamine, one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, distribute, a scheduled II controlled substance, and one misdemeanor count of maintain a vehicle or a dwelling place for a controlled substance.

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Based on court documents on file at the Macon County Clerk of Court’s office, Debbie Mosteller, former Nantahala Volunteer Fire Department (NFD) treasurer, may have taken a Disney vacation and secured $20,000 worth of new computers, all at the expense of Macon County taxpayers.

Based on search warrants filed on June 11 by State Bureau of Investigation Special Agent J.M. Schick, the Nantahala Volunteer Fire Department, specifically Mosteller, is being investigated for embezzlement that allegedly began in 2009. The investigation, which was launched in May 2014, has already uncovered 74 checks endorsed by Mosteller from 2009 to 2013, which are thought to have purchased $20,000 worth of Dell products and $6,500 for a Walt Disney World Vacation.

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For as long as he can remember, Macon County Sheriff’s Office Major Andy Shields only wanted to be one of three things when he grew up: a farmer to be able to spend his days outdoors working with his hands, a garbage man because nothing was cooler than being able to ride on the back of the truck all day, or a police officer, to help other people. When he was just five years old, an encounter with the local police chief solidified what he wanted to be when he grew up, and gave him a role model that would shape his 30 year career in law enforcement.

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Summary reports that suspects were tased five times.

Nearly two weeks after law enforcement officers arrested Adam Conley and Kathryn Jeter on the campus of South Macon Elementary, a “Use of Force” Investigative Summary offers additional clues into the confrontation the two suspects had with law enforcement officers before being taken into custody.

According to the investigative summary, officers deployed their tasers five times attempting to place Conley and Jeter under arrest.

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High rates just not feasible in a struggling economy.

Commissioner Paul Higdon is putting his 30 years of industry experience and 10 years of experience serving on county’s health board to use in lobbying for lower permitting fees for citizens. During budget discussions, Higdon asked commissioners to consider looking at the county’s current environmental fee structure and look at reducing the fees for citizens, to make it easy on taxpayers.

“Environmental Health fees that I and other people think need restructuring are the onsite wastewater (OSW), or septic system, and well fees,” said Higdon. “First the OSW permits are dual in the fact that a Improvements Permit (IP) and Construction Authorization Permit (AC) are needed prior to building a house or any structure where municipal or community sewer is not available.”

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